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October Almanac

October is arguably the nicest month for weather in Central Alabama. Of course, our perception of what is nice is subjective and personal. A slow day-long soaking rain is probably the most beautiful weather I can think of almost anytime.

October ranks as the driest month in Birmingham with an average 3.34 inches of rainfall in the month. 11.90 inches fell in October 1995, thanks to Hurricane Opal. Four Octobers have been completely dry, including 1897, 1899, 1901 and 1924. October 2016 saw only a trace as we were in the middle of a flash drought.

Temperatures will really start to fall off in the month ahead as the heat budget continues to become more negative as daily sunlight continues to decrease in both duration and sky angle. The average high at the beginning of the month is 82F, but that will fall to 70F by the end of the month. The average low for the 1st is 60F, but that too will fall to 46F by Halloween.

Birmingham’s earliest recorded freeze occurred on October 18, 1948. The coldest it has ever been in the Magic City in any October is 27F on October 28, 1957, and October 29, 1952. On October 3, 2019, Birmingham recorded a record high of 101F. A high of 90F has been recorded as late as October 20th. We only see 90F in the month about once every three years.

On average, measurable rain is received on 7.1 days in the month and thunderstorms occur on an average of 1.5 days.

Updated for 1991-2020 Climatological Data

Photograph by Kathy Bell, owner of kbella photography.